Jana Kramer is currently running circles around her peers in the industry, now becoming a triple threat — singing, acting, and dancing. But even with all the bright spots in the beautiful entertainer’s life, darkness has loomed for years. Kramer recently unleashed some honesty in an interview with PEOPLE, shocking the public while also proving her strength.
During Kramer’s interview, she opened up about her first marriage and the domestic abuse she endured, which ultimately landed her ex-husband, Michael Gambino, in prison for attempted murder. Kramer admitted that the two entered into a relationship and it escalated extremely quickly, spending only two weeks together before saying “I do.”
Though Kramer felt safe at first, it wasn’t long until Gambino, who was seventeen years older, became abusive toward her.
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. Then the next morning he’d be like, “Hey, baby,” as if nothing had happened.
When Kramer tried to leave, he would threaten her dogs and kick her out of the house, forcing her to sleep in her car. Gambino’s abuse eventually became nearly fatal when he choked her until she became unconscious and “left her bleeding on the gravel outside their L.A. home.”
Gambino was sentenced to six years in prison for attempted murder and committed suicide in 2012, two years following his release.
Kramer explained to PEOPLE why she has remained tight lipped about her past until now.
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. If I can help one person, I’ll be thankful for what happened – and I can move forward.
For more information or to seek help for domestic violence, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE or go to thehotline.org