"I felt them in the stomach", she said.
"I never thought. I'm very honest".
Williams struggled to keep up with the breathless pace set by the number seven seed, finally registering a game on her own serve at the third attempt.
The 75-year-old told the BBC earlier in the tournament that Williams should give up being a celebrity for a year: "Just stop all this insanity".
While Osaka was in tears over the furore when she received her maiden grand slam trophy, Williams doesn't regret the way she acted, saying it only strengthened her resolve to keep fighting for equality.
"It feels good", was the first thing she said when she walked into her news conference pointing at the purple-and-white round badge.
Halep then broke Williams again in her next service game before closing out the win on Centre Court to seal a second Grand Slam title - in the process ensuring Williams' wait for that record-equaling 24th title goes on.
"I feel like I'm still incredibly competitive or else I wouldn't really be out here".
Williams, who has now lost three Grand Slam finals since returning to the Tour last March following the birth of daughter Olympia in September 2017, was short of ideas and the match ended after 56 minutes when she biffed a forehand into the net - her 26th unforced error. "You can get nervous, too nervous". Wimbledon was stunned, but not as half as much as Williams.
Williams was responding to a question from a journalist who told her tennis legend Billie Jean King suggested the 23-time major victor should stop trying to be a "celebrity" and concentrate on winning matches. It's all the rules, a very prestigious tournament, makes it a little bit different and more special.
The pattern continued in the second set - with Halep's superior speed and waspish groundstrokes allowing her to get Williams's cannonballs back with interest until she had forced the error.
Williams has always embraced her role as a champion of gender equality and that was on show in a recent essay she penned for Harper's Bazaar in which she addressed her controversial US Open final against Naomi Osaka previous year. "She's an inspiration for everyone".
'I don't know any other woman who can run as fast as Halep. But I decided before the match that I'm going to focus on myself and on the final of grand slam, not on her.
"Someone told me I shouldn't look at the records anymore".
"That's why I was able to play my best, to be relaxed, and to be able to be positive and confident against her. I didn't think about the score at all". It's part of a full day of championship Wimbledon events, the schedule for which you can find here. If she is quite happy the way she is, then fine.