George Clooney is one of Hollywood’s biggest heartthrobs. But ever since he married lawyer Amal Clooney in 2014, showbiz’s most eligible bachelor has firmly been off the market. Swapping a glamorous lifestyle for family-time — the couple became parents in June 2017 to a set of twins named Alexander and Ella — George has shown that as he enters his sixth decade of life, he’s much happier taking things a bit slower now.
This does not mean that George is a forgotten man in any way in the entertainment industry. His incredible looks, charm and generosity keep George a fan favorite. After a story was revealed a few years ago in which George apparently gifted 14 of his closest friends $1 million, the star has now gone on the record and revealed the backstory.
It isn’t every day that a star would be so big-hearted as to hand out a whopping $1 million to 14 people, but George is no ordinary celebrity. He didn’t make it known that he had done this good deed in 2013, and it only came to light that he had done this after his close friend Rande Gerber went on the air and told his story in 2017.
However, George still did not confirm or deny this fact until an interview with GQ in November 2020 revealed his motivation for doing what he did. His interview shed light on the kind of man George is, and it goes to show that behind the glitz and glamour surrounding the star, George is an ordinary man with an extraordinary personality.
News of the incident first surfaced in 2017, when one of George Clooney’s good friends, businessman Rande Gerber—who happens to be Cindy Crawford’s husband—told MSNBC about Clooney gifting 14 of his nearest and dearest $1 million each. As reported by Today, Gerber went on to tell the story that “pretty much sums up who George is.”
He details that a group of them are known as “The Boys” and were explicitly requested to come to Clooney’s house for dinner on September 27, 2013. Randy goes on:
“Sitting in front of each of us at the table is a black Tumi bag, you know, luggage. George begins to say, ‘Listen, I want you guys to know how much you’ve meant to me, and how much you mean to me in my life. 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.'”
He then told The Boys to open the suitcases and inside each one was $1 million made up of $20 bills. Rande says they were all in shock and asked “What is this?” George went on to explain that they’d all been through hard times and some were still going through it, but they wouldn’t have to worry about their kids or mortgages. Gerber explained how for some of the guys it was a really life-changing amount of money, and Clooney had even paid all of the taxes on the money.
Gerber, successful in his own right, tried to decline the money, but Clooney was quick-thinking and made another announcement, saying that if Rande didn’t take the money, then nobody would get it. Needless to say, Gerber went along with Clooney’s wishes and accepted the incredible gift.
However, George hasn’t spoken of the incident at all since it happened, but in November 2020, he opened up about it in an interview feature with GQ. Apparently, it all came about after the massive success of his film “Gravity,” where instead of being paid, he and his co-star Sandra Bullock received percentages of the movie’s takings, which turned out to be very good. He had already met his future wife Amal Alamuddin, who now goes by Amal Clooney, but they weren’t dating yet and he didn’t have any family either.
“I was a single guy. All of us were aging. I was 52 or something. And most of my friends are older than me,” he said.
George explained the motivation behind his actions in the interview with GQ:
“And I thought, what I do have are these guys who’ve all, over a period of 35 years, helped me in one way or another. I’ve slept on their couches when I was broke. They loaned me money when I was broke. They helped me when I needed help over the years. And I’ve helped them over the years. We’re all good friends. And I thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this. And we’re all really close, and I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will. So why the f*** am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”
That’s when Clooney had the only-in-a-movie idea of getting cash to put in a suitcase and gifting it to his loyal friends. He went on to explain in the interview that he had to figure out how to get so much cash at once, which led him to “an undisclosed location” in LA that deals in “giant pallets of cash.”
Just like in a heist movie, he got a beat-up Florist van and drove downtown, taking the van down an elevator to a vault, and picked up the money. Apparently, he had only told his assistant and “a couple of security guys that were s**tting themselves.” I mean, going off his filmography, if anyone is going to pull off such a stunt it’s going to be George Clooney! The star’s generosity and love for his friends are incredible, and it changed their lives for the very best.
And it seems George’s incredible gesture didn’t go unnoticed by the laws of karma. Getting the money and gifting it happened over two days on September 27-28, 2013, and almost exactly one year later, Clooney married his wife Amal on September 27, 2014! As Rande Gerber said when he first told the story:
“That’s good karma right there.”
Well, there you have it—proof that George is not only gorgeous, talented, and so many other things, but he’s an incredible friend who knows how to give back to those he cares for. Clooney turned 60 years old in 2021 and is a doting father to twins Alexander and Ella, who were born in 2017. He continues to celebrate life with his family every day.