In September of 2013, some time after George Clooney became a famous and wealthy actor, he gathered around 14 of his closest friends and gave them each $1 million.
Rande Gerber, Clooney’s longtime friend and co-founder of their company Casamigos Tequila, first relayed the story in a recent interview with MSNBC’s “Headliners.” INSIDER confirmed it with a representative for Clooney.
“There’s a group of guys we call ‘The Boys,’ Gerber said. “George had called me and ‘The Boys’ and said, ‘Hey, mark September 27, 2013, on your calendar. Everyone’s going to come to my house for dinner.”
At the dinner, Clooney set black, designer luggage bags in front of each of them. He prepared a speech, telling them all how much they meant to him, and how grateful he was that they each let him sleep on their couches when he was a struggling actor.
When they opened their luggage, they each found a pile of $20 bills that totaled up to $14 million.
Some of them, Gerber said, were living from paycheck to paycheck at the time. He also said that Clooney paid the taxes on each gift, so everyone received the full $1 million.
“I know we’ve all been through some hard times, some of you are still going through it,” Clooney said, according to Gerber. “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 about paying your mortgage.”
Gerber, who is independently wealthy, tried to reject the gift but ultimately paid it to charity. He also said that a year later, the universe repaid Clooney the favor.
“That was September 27, 2013,” Gerber said. “Now September 27, 2014, he marries Amal. That’s good karma right there.”
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