George Clooney
Credit: Kevin Winter / Getty Images for Turner

If any celebrity were lavish enough to gift 14 close friends $1 million USD each, it was always going to be George Clooney. The rumour erupted in 2017 and now, the Academy Award-winning actor has confirmed it to be true in a new interview with GQ. Having just been named as the publication’s Man of the Year 2020, interviewer Zach Baron sat down with Clooney to discuss his long-winded career and the exact details surrounding the generous gift.

“I just thought basically if I get hit by a bus, they’re all in the will,” Clooney said. “So why the f**k am I waiting to get hit by a bus?”

For the American actor, he considered it payback for the times they supported him throughout his early career – and boy, did it pay off. But as you may have guessed, moving that kind of money around is a small, first world logistical nightmare. In Ocean’s Eleven style, Clooney withdrew the cash from a Los Angeles bank and transported it around in a van made to look like a Florist. A secret transaction known only by a handful of people and “a couple of security guys that were sh*ting themselves.”

“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, he invited his friends over and unveiled the news extremely candidly. “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?’” he said. “And I said, ‘Oh, well: How about a million bucks?’”

“I was a single guy. All of us were aging. I was 52 or something. And most of my friends are older than me,” he told GQ. “And I thought, what I do have are these guys . . . 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 thought, you know, without them I don’t have any of this.”

And the one question we all have on our minds? Imagine being his 15th closest friend… Ouch.