In 2003, actress Halle Berry snatched the No. 1 spot on People’s “50 Most Beautiful People in the World” list after making the top 10 a total of seven times. That same year she again landed on FHM’s “100 Sexiest Women in the World” list.
Now, while the 55-year-old’s gorgeous looks may be hard to overlook, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal recently revealed he once was so floored by Berry that it affected his on-court performance.
He recalled the moment during a Wednesday, Sept. 22, appearance on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” with host and singer Kelly Clarkson. The 14-time NBA All-Star was discussing what it was like playing ball in front of A-list celebrities, including Denzel Washington and Jack Nicholson.
“Like, when I’m at home watching the Netflix, they give me so much enjoyment so I would always say, ‘OK, they’re here to watch me and Kobe [Bryant] win the championship, I gotta make sure I always play well,’” he explained.
However, he told host Clarkson his favorite celebrity sighting took place at Madison Square Garden in New York, when he spotted the “Jungle Fever” star descending the stairs as he waited to make a free throw.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star said, “My heart started fluttering, I get nervous.” He continued, “I call a timeout. Coach said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘Shut up, Halle Berry is here to watch me. Nobody shoots, make sure I get the ball.’”
Luckily for Shaq — was notoriously bad at executing the unhindered shot and has missed over 5,300 of them in his career — he “actually made the free throw,” he said. He added, while doing a shooting gesture in the air, “I made the free throw, I was looking at Halle like [winks].”
Soon afterward, the successful entrepreneur dropped another fun fact about himself in relation to the “Monsters Ball” star. “So when I was young, I used to stutter,” he said. “She’s the only woman that makes my stuttering come back.”
In 2008, Berry was regarded as the sexiest woman by Esquire. At the time the actress said, “I’ve been in the business for more than 20 years, and you decide now, at this particular time, that I’m the sexiest woman alive? Come on. I mean, you couldn’t go with the Bond-girl year?”
She later added, “But 2008? Well, I don’t know exactly what it means, but being 42 and having just had a baby, I think I’ll take it. ”