George Clooney recalls giving 14 of his friends $1 million each: Why wouldnt you do that? – USA TODAY

It pays to be George Clooney‘s friend. Literally. 

In 2013, Clooney was 52, single, without children and about to appear in the space thriller “Gravity” when he came up with a huge way to thank his 14 closest friends for their support through the years: A gift of $1 million each. 

“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,'” Clooney said in an interview with GQ. “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.” 

He added: “So why the (expletive) am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”

The actor pulled a move reminiscent of his “Ocean’s” franchise – he rented an old van that read “Florist,” loaded up 14 Tumi bags each with a million dollars in cash (“which isn’t as much as you think it is, weight-wise”) and invited his friends over. 

George Clooney

“I just held up a map and I just pointed to all the places I got to go in the world and all the things I’ve gotten to see because of them,” Clooney recalled. “And I said, ‘How do you repay people like that?’ And I said, ‘Oh, well: How about a million bucks?'”

Seven years later, Clooney is married to human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, the father to 3-year-old twins Ella and Alexander and has even more dollar signs to his name, thanks mostly to a billion dollar deal Clooney and his business partners signed to sell their tequila company in 2017. Clooney still maintains the $14 million gift was the right move. 

“You know, it’s funny,” Clooney said. “I remember talking to one really rich asshole who I ran into in a hotel in Vegas—certainly a lot richer than I am. And I remember the story about the cash had come out, and he was like, ‘Why would you do that?’ “

He concluded: “And I was like, ‘Why wouldn’t you do that, you schmuck?’ “

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