George Clooney reveals plans for money from Tequila company sale

George Clooney has revealed his philanthropic plans following the sale of his Tequila company, Casamigos, to Diageo in June for US$1 billion, as his payday approaches.

George Clooney and Rande Gerber.

In an interview with Hollywood Reporter, Clooney said that he believed he would be paid in the next couple of weeks following the completion of the Casamigos sale in August.

The actor and director told the news site about his big plans for the money. Clooney and his wife, Amal, recently announced a $1 million grant to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy organisation that specialises in civil rights and public interest litigation. Clooney is also a noted philanthropist and activist, while Amal, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, specialises in international law and human rights.

In addition to the grant, Clooney said: “Amal and I are going to take $20 million and put it directly into our foundation [the Clooney Foundation for Justice].”

“It will go toward educating refugees, it will go toward housing, it will go to all the things that we want to work on.”

Established in 2016, the Clooneys’ foundation is currently working on projects which include combatting hate groups in the US in partnership with the Southern Poverty Law Center, working with UNICEF to improve the education for Syrian refugees by building schools where they are based, and also offering support in the resettlement of Syrian and Yazidi refugees in America.

Clooney also told Hollywood Reporter that together with his wife, they had taken their efforts a step further, having taken a Yazidi refugee from Iraq into their home. The individual is currently studying at the University of Chicago and lives in a house maintained by Clooney in Augusta, Kentucky.

“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,’ ” said 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.’ ”

The sale of Casamigos, co-founded by Clooney and Rande Gerber, was announced in June for up to $1 billion. Diageo paid $700 million up front and will pay a further potential $300 million based on the brand’s performance over the next 10 years. The sale was completed in August. It did not go without a hiccup, as in July, a financial analyst was reported to be suing Clooney and Gerber for $20 million after claiming that an ambassador for Casamigos Tequila served him a nitrogen-laced cocktail at the Beverley Hilton that caused him to collapse.

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