Country singer and actress Jana Kramer has just revealed a dark chapter from her past. In a recent interview with People, Kramer shares the truth about her first husband who tried to kill her in 2005.
After a whirlwind romance at the young age of 19, Kramer married Michael Gambino, but things quickly turned into a nightmare. Known for her music and roles in One Tree Hill, Click and more, the young starlet decided to open up in the hope of helping others.
In 2004, Kramer met Gambino in a coffee shop and the two dated for two weeks before marrying on a whim. Gambino was charming and also seventeen years her senior. “At the time, I liked that. I felt protected,” she says of the age gap.
It wasn’t long before Kramer found herself hiding from him on nights that he would come home angry. “He’d come home at 3 o’clock in the morning and pick me up out of bed, throw me onto the ground and start yelling and hitting,” she said.
Kramer didn’t tell any of her family and friends at the time, covering bruises with makeup. Sometimes she slept in her car to escape his abuse. But every morning, Gambino would act as if nothing had happened.
At one point, Kramer says she told him she was through with the situation. In response, he sent her photos of her dogs on the freeway. He threatened to release them on the road if she didn’t come home.
In Aug. 2005, Gambino left Kramer for dead after attacking her. He choked Kramer until she was unconscious and left her bleeding outside of their L.A. home. Kramer still has scars on her body from that night. Gambino was arrested and charged after this incident. However, two years after his release from prison, he committed suicide.
“I’m so embarrassed and afraid no one will love me because of my past, but I’m ready to put it out there now,” Kramer admitted. “If I can help one person, I’ll be thankful for what happened – and I can move forward.”
After a second marriage to Johnathon Schaech, she was briefly engaged to country singer Brantley Gilbert. In 2015, she married Mike Caussin and they had a daughter together, Jolie. Though they are now separating, Kramer says Jolie is responsible for helping her find her strength.