"She said, 'I saw your potential, but I knew you needed to be held,' " the actress recalled of her mentor and close friend, Yvonne Sims
Halle Berry is opening up about her bond with a former teacher who has been in her life for almost 50 years now.
The actress spoke with Gwyneth Paltrow for the latest episode of the Goop Podcast where she sang the praises of Yvonne Sims, whom she said she met for the first time in fourth grade and was her teacher before "following" her throughout the rest of her childhood school years.
"All a sudden, first day of school, I see her at the middle school," recalled Berry, 57. "And I'm like, 'What are you doing here?' And she's like, 'Oh, I'm now the counselor at the middle school.' So she was my counselor then, in my middle-school years."
"Then, first day of high school, guess who's there? And I'm like, 'What are you doing here?' 'Oh, I'm now the guidance counselor [here] and guess what? I have [last names] A through D, so I'm your guidance counselor,' " said the Oscar winner. "I'm like, 'Huh.' "
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories.
And Sims' change of workplace throughout Berry's adolescence wasn't the coincidence she thought it was, even up until she was an adult.
"Now that we're still in each other's lives, I said to her one day, 'Isn't it interesting that just happened? That that was fate, like serendipity?' " said the Bruised actress and director. "She was like, 'You think that just happened by mistake? I was following you all these years because I knew you needed me.' She followed me."
"She said, 'I saw your potential, but I knew you needed to be held,' because of my family, my growing, my lack of guidance in my home," Berry explained. "And we had a connection."
Berry has posted tributes to Sims on social media over the years, including for Mother's Day last year and her birthday this past January.
In November 2016, the actress shared a stunning portrait of Sims and wrote in the caption, "Having a special teacher can transform a young life especially when it’s needed most. I was lucky enough to have a very special 5th grade teacher, Yvonne Sims."
"She came into my life when I most needed the guidance of an earth angel. Without her love, support and constant encouragement to ask myself the tough questions, I shudder at how differently my life could have turned out!" Berry continued of her "dear friend to this day."
In her birthday tribute post, Berry wrote alongside a photo of Sims, "Happy Birthday to my real life earth angel and my biggest influence and inspiration! I’ll love you forever, Yvonne Sims ❤️."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.