George Clooney gifted friends US$1 million each, says businessman Rande Gerber


It literally pays to be George Clooney's friend.

On MSNBC's "Headliners," businessman and model Rande Gerber shared a tale about a special surprise cash gift he got from the actor in 2013.

Clooney, a humanitarian, gathered his best friends called "The Boys" for dinner at his house on Sept. 27 that year.

"'It was really important to me that while we're still all here together, that I give back,'" Gerber quoted Clooney as saying.

When they arrived at his place, the 14 men were shocked to find suitcases at their places on the dinner table.

Clooney explained that it was his way of giving back. "'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. So I want you all to open your suitcases,'" Gerber recalled Clooney telling them.

These were filled with US$20 bills that summed up to US$1 million (S$1.3 million).

"We're in shock. Like, what is this?" related Gerber, who is married to supermodel Cindy Crawford.

"He goes, '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 about paying your mortgage.'

"One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family, rides a bicycle to work every day," he said.

Gerber wanted to turn it down, but Clooney told him if one wouldn't accept, no one would receive it.

He ended up taking the money and he donated his share to charity. Besides the cash, their taxes were also covered for the year.The friends have millions to spare anyway: Gerber and Clooney co-founded tequila company Casamigos, which was sold to UK drinks firm Diageo for US$1 billion in June.