Apparently, it literally pays to be friends with George Clooney. According to People, Rande Gerber (husband of Cindy Crawford and long-time pal to Clooney) recently told MSNBC that, during a 2013 dinner, George Clooney gave 14 of his closest friends $1 million each and paid all of their would-be taxes on the sum. $1 million each! That's $14 million dollars, plus the designer luggage bags all the cash came in, just for being one of "The Boys." Hey, George? If you're reading this, I've been really good this year.
Gerber spoke about the evening at-length during his chat with MSNBC, and every detail was more amazing than the last.
“There’s a group of guys we call ‘The Boys.' George had called me and ‘The Boys’ and said, ‘Hey, mark September 27th, 2013, on your calendar. Everyone’s going to come to my house for dinner.’"
Sounds like a pretty chill night, right? Dinner with the dudes — no big deal. Nothing out of the ordinary (if you're the kind of person for whom dinner with Clooney is "ordinary," of course) until they headed to the dinner table and noticed that each place setting includes a black designer bag. According to Gerber, here's what happened next:
“George begins to say, ‘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.'”
At this point, an average person might be expecting something along the lines of a personalized "Thank You" note, or, say, a framed photo of the group, or, I don't know, a monogrammed set of luggage packing organizers and some carry-on compliant toiletries at best. But no, this is not your average group of friends, and apparently, Clooney is a way-above-average gift-giver.
“We open it up, and it’s a million dollars in $20 bills. Every one of us – 14 of us – got a million dollars. Every single one of us. We’re in shock. Like, what is this? 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.'”
This is where everyone fainted and/or Ashton Kutcher popped out of a closet to tell them they've been "Punk'd," right? Nope. This actually happened. And, for some of "The Boys," according to Gerber, it was pretty life-changing.
“One was working at a bar in Texas at the airport, trying just to support his family. Rides a bicycle to work every day. I mean these are guys that took care of George and now he’s giving it all back."
Bustle reached out to a rep for Clooney for comment on the story, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.
And just in case you needed further proof that being close (or, close-by) to George Clooney is the gift that keeps on giving, a source told Page Six that, on a recent flight to London where George and wife Amal had their 6-month-twins in-tow, the couple gifted noise-cancelling headphones to their fellow first-class passengers, along with a note "apologizing ahead of time" for any in-flight disruptions the twins might cause. Even better? "The babies didn’t make a peep!” said the source.
Of course, Clooney has long-been a giver (perhaps not — at least that the public is aware of — on such personal levels, but a giver nonetheless). The star has contributed funds to countless humanitarian and political causes over the years, and even co-founded a non-profit of his own (Not On Our Watch).
Cash, luggage, noise-cancelling headphones — Clooney is a perpetual gift-giver. He also seems pretty darn jolly, sports the occasional white beard, and looks amazing in color-blocked suits (or suits of any kind, really). The similarities between Clooney and Claus are too obvious to ignore — which is why, this Christmas, I'll be leaving out cookies, milk, and a hand-written note addressed to George.