Jana Kramer's been through a lot, especially when in come to her romantic life.
As you surely know, the One Tree Hill alum is currently estranged from her husband Mike Caussin as the former footballer strayed multiple times during the course of their relationship. However, this isn't the worst turmoil the Dancing With The Stars contestant has experienced as Miz Kramer suffered from abuse at the hands of her first husband Michael Gambino.
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For a candid chat with People, the country singer opened up about her painful history with domestic abuse and explained why she stayed in the toxic marriage for so many years. Jana shared:
"I was so ashamed… I literally walked around on eggshells, terrified to tell anybody, because I was so ashamed of the situation I had put myself in. I was like I put myself in this and now I have to figure out how to get out of it, or stay in it and make it better."
Poor thing! And, tragically, the abuse only worsened after their 2004 wedding as Kramer became the victim of regular beatings. In fact, the 32-year-old used to sleep in her car or hide in the bushes in order to escape Gambino's wrath. According to Jana, Michael would:
"…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. Then the next morning he'd be like, ‘Hey, baby,' as if nothing had happened. … My self-confidence went down each time he was abusive."
How awful. And it seems as though the I Got The Boy artist blames her strained relationship with her father Martin Kramer for her unhealthy romances later in life. She noted:
"Nothing was ever good enough for my father. I was always trying to get his attention and, through therapy, I realized that followed through into my relationships …. When I met Mike, he was that older guy I was trying to impress."
Unfortunately, Jana wasn't able to easily escape from her first husband, who was 17 years her senior, as on August 6, 2005 Michael choked her so badly she lost consciousness and was left in the dirt, covered in blood outside of the El Lay residence.
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Kramer, who still has scars on her body from the abuse, recalled:
"I remember praying that night, ‘Please, just take me away, I don't want to be here anymore.' "
Thankfully, Michael didn't get away with his crimes as he was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to six years in prison. In 2010 he was released, but killed himself only two years later. Intense stuff.
Regardless, Jana has embraced her past and is now trying to move forward with her life as she concluded:
"All I've ever wanted is to be loved, to love someone and to have a family. I don't have everything figured out obviously, but I feel like I'm in a place where I don't have to be ashamed. I don't want to play the victim. Even though my past isn't pretty, it's shaped me into the person I am today, and now I want to help people. I want to help women out of bad situations."
Well said. We honestly couldn't be prouder of Jana for bravely opening up about her harrowing experiences.
[Image via Judy Eddy/WENN.]
Tags: dancing with the stars, jana kramer, mental health, michael gambino, mike caussin, sad sad, scary!