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How George Clooney Made 14 of His Closest Friends Instant Millionaires

speaks onstage during the "Our Brand Is Crisis" press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 12, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.speaks onstage during the "Our Brand Is Crisis" press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival at TIFF Bell Lightbox on September 12, 2015 in Toronto, Canada.
George Clooney speaks during a press conference at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.Photograph by Jason Merritt — Getty Images

It’s one thing to buy a buddy a beer or a dinner, but handing them a million bucks? That’s something straight out of the movies.

If so, it’s only fitting that George Clooney plays the lead role. Rande Gerber, who cofounded the Casamigos tequila company with Clooney, says the actor made 14 of his close friends surprise millionaires in 2013.

Speaking on MSNBC’s Headliners, Gerber said Clooney (whose net worth is estimated at $500 million by CelebrityNetWorth) gave the cash to his closest friends at a dinner at the actor’s house. Clooney handed each friend a suitcase filled with $1 million worth of $20 bills.

“I know we’ve all been through some hard times, some of you are still going through it,” Gerber quotes Clooney as saying. “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.”

The friend group, dubbed “The Boys,” reportedly helped support Clooney when he first came to Hollywood, letting him sleep on their couches and offering additional support. The Ocean’s Eleven star said he wanted to let them know how important they were to him.

As a kicker, Gerber added, Clooney said he also had paid the group’s taxes.

Gerber, who is independently wealthy, says he attempted to refuse the money, but Clooney insisted. Eventually, Gerber says, he donated his $1 million to charity.