Clooney: Here's Why I Gave 14 Friends $1M Each

'I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they're all in the will'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2020 2:12 PM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2020 9:47 AM CST
Why George Clooney Gave 14 Friends $1M Each
George Clooney speaks to the crowd during the Nordic Business Forum business seminar in Helsinki, Thursday Oct. 10, 2019.   (Heikki Saukkomaa/Lehtikuva via AP)

George Clooney is now a happily married man. But in 2013, when he thought he might remain a bachelor forever, his friends were his family—and he was very good to them. In an interview with GQ, which has named him its "Icon of the Year," the 59-year-old star recounts how he decided to give 14 of his closest friends $1 million each in 2013. "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," he says. "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?"

Clooney says he was flush with cash at the time. It was right around when Gravity was released, and "because they didn't want to pay us, they gave us percentages of the movie, 'cause they thought it was gonna be a flop, and that ended up being a very good deal." He says he drove to a secret location in LA where they have "pallets of cash" and loaded $14 million into an old van said that "Florist" on the side. He put the $14 million in 14 Tumi bags and invited his friends over the next day. "And 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. And I said, ‘How do you repay people like that?’ And I said, 'Oh, well: How about a million bucks?'" (Click for the full interview, in which he discusses marriage, fatherhood, and new movie The Midnight Sky, which he directed and stars in.)

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