Jana Kramer Opens up About Escaping Alleged Abuser From Past Relationship

Jana Kramer is looking back on one of the darkest times of her life as she opens up about surviving an abusive relationship. The One Tree Hill alum, 38, shared her story on Instagram Saturday as she posted a throwback photo with her mother and revealed in the caption the reality behind her smiling face in the picture.

"I don't remember the excuses that I told people when I flew home to escape my abuser about the cuts and scrapes on my shoulder and arms, or why my ribs were hurting," Kramer began a lengthy caption. "But when I look at this photo that's all I see. I see a broken girl who was weeks prior pinned to the ground while the man that 'loved' me was strangling me saying that he was going kill me."

Kramer didn't name her abuser in the post, but previously has alleged she suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her first husband, Michael Gambino, whom she married in 2004. The Whine Down podcast host filed for divorce less than a year later, and Gambino would go on to be convicted of premeditated attempted murder. Gambino served five years in prison and was released on parole in 2010 before he died by suicide in 2012.

The country singer continued in Saturday's Instagram post that she felt "so full of shame" and "like I had no one," as she thought no one would believe her if she asked for help. "To be honest it's been a journey and one I'm still trying to walk through knowing that wasn't the last abusive relationship," Kramer continued. "One of the hardest rocks I threw into the stream when I was at on-site was the rock 'I deserve abuse' because for so long that's what I thought. I held onto that for years thinking that was true. That's what I was made to believe."

"The Nicest Thing" singer wanted to share this message, as well as a clip of her 2017 speech at Safe Horizon's 22nd Annual Champion Awards, to "help others and to hopefully help at least one person who is reading this to talk to someone," reminding people that "no one" deserves abuse. "Physically, sexually, mentally, verbally, financially, emotionally abusive relationships etc. THAT IS ALL ABUSE," she shared. "There are people who want to be there for you. That are there for you. Please don't wait until you lose your breath."


If you or someone you know is experiencing physical, emotional or psychological abuse from a spouse or partner, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233.