Fourteen million thank yous: How Clooney paid back mates who helped him when he was broke
Written by on 18 November 2020
George Clooney has revealed how he paid back some of his closest friends who helped him out when he was struggling during his career.
The 59-year-old Hollywood megastar told GQ Magazine that he once gave a million dollars each to 14 of his closest friends, adding he drove across Los Angeles with the money in the back of a disguised van.
Clooney had just appeared in Gravity, a sci-fi thriller, in 2013, which had proved more successful than predicted, meaning he was left with a financial windfall.
It was around the same time that he met his now-wife Amal, but had no intentions of starting a family – although the pair now have twins.
He told the magazine he wanted to share his success and wealth with his friends, saying: “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?”
The Ocean’s Eleven actor revealed that the he had to collect the $14 million (£10.4 million) in cash from a secret location in downtown Los Angeles, adding there were “giant pellets of cash”.
To transport it, he drove an old van that said “florist” on the side, and loaded it up, having only told his assistant and “a couple of security guys”.
Clooney added: “And we brought it up, and I bought 14 Tumi bags, and then I packed in a million bucks, cash, which isn’t as much as you think it is, weight-wise, into these Tumi bags.”
The next day, the actor invited his friends to his home to collect the cash.
He said: “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 got 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?’ And the fun part about it was: That was the 27th, the 28th of September. A year later, on the 27th of September, just by happenstance, was the day I got married.”