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George Clooney has big plans for his big payday from the recent sale of Casamigos Tequila, the company he created with friends Rande Gerber and Mike?Meldman.
In June, Clooney and his partners agreed to sell Casamigos to the beverage giant Diageo for $700?million, with the possibility of another $300?million down the pike.
“I think we’re getting paid in a couple of weeks,” he recently told The Hollywood Reporter for its cover story on the actor-director.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the noted philanthropist and his wife, Amal, are planning to take some of that money and use it to support the causes they hold most dear.
For starters, they recently announced a $1?million grant to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Additionally, “Amal and I are going to take $20?million and put it directly into our foundation [the Clooney Foundation for Justice],” he said. “It will go toward educating refugees, it will go toward housing, it will go to all the things that we want to work on.”
That includes aid for the settlement of refugees in the U.S., building schools where refugees are based, and creating a trial watch to monitor courts that advance governmental repression.
Clooney also reveals that he and Amal have taken a Yazidi refugee from Iraq into their home. Now a student at the University of Chicago, he lives in a house the actor maintains in Augusta, Ky.
“He was on this bus to Mosul, and ISIS shot the two bus drivers and said, ‘Anybody who wants to go to college, we will shoot them,’?” says Clooney. “He survived and came to America. He got through all the checks, and once he got through those, it was like, ‘Listen, we got your back. You want to get an education? You want to move your life forward? This is something that we can do.’?”
Next up: Clooney is promoting his new film, Suburbicon, a drama set in the late 1950s that he directed and co-wrote with Grant Heslov. It stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore. The Paramount release debuted Saturday at the Venice Film Festival.
Read more about Clooney’s plans in THR’s cover story.
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