George Clooney gave 14 of his best pals a million bucks in cash in 2013—and even paid the taxes on the gifts, according to one of his friends.
Clooney’s largesse was revealed by his best friend, Rande Gerber, in a recent episode of MSNBC’s Headliners.
“There’s a group of guys we call ‘The Boys,’” Gerber explained. “George had called me and ‘The Boys’ and said, ‘Hey, mark Sept. 27th, 2013, on your calendar. Everyone’s going to come to my house for dinner.”
When they arrived at the Oscar-winning actor and director’s place, Gerber said that black luggage bags were set on the table for each guest. “George begins to say, ‘Listen, I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me and how much you mean in my life,” the businessman recalled. “‘I came to L.A., I slept on your couch. I’m so fortunate in my life to have all of you and I couldn’t be where I am today without all of you. So, it was really important to me that while we’re still all here together, that I give back. So I want you all to open your suitcases.’”
According to Gerber, $1 million in $20 bills was stashed in each case.
“Every one of us—14 of us—got a million dollars. Every single one of us,” he continued. “We’re in shock. Like, what is this?”
According to Gerber, Clooney then said, “I know we’ve all been through some hard times, some of you are still going through it. You don’t have to worry about your kids, you don’t have to worry about, you know, school, you don’t have to worry abut paying your mortgage.”
Gerber said that some of the lucky recipients were down on their luck at the time: “One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family. Rides a bicycle to work every day.”
Gerber, who is part-owner of Clooney’s Casamigos Tequila brand, which sold for $1 billion earlier this year, was reluctant to accept the money: “I pull him aside and said, ‘I absolutely am not taking this million dollars.’ Immediately, George goes, ‘I’m just going to make one announcement. If Rande doesn’t take the million dollars, nobody gets it.’”
Gerber said he donated all of the funds to charity.
He added, “This is who George is. That was September 27th, 2013. Now September 27, 2014, he marries Amal. That’s good karma right there.”