It’s been a heartbreaking story to watch unfold. Just as Jana Kramer was announced as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” it also became public that she and husband Mike Caussin were separating, and he was entering rehab. Shortly after, word leaked that Mike is in rehab for a sex addiction. While Jana doesn’t confirm those specific allegations, she does go on record to say she didn’t make a public statement because it was embarrassing. Not long after that, it became a magazine cover story that her first husband, Michael Gambino, nearly beat the actress and country singer to death and spent five years in prison because of it. And finally, husband Mike issued an apology for his behavior.
Through it all, Jana has been the picture of strength, competing with grace and a smile on “Dancing With the Stars” and sharing sweet photos of herself with daughter Jolie Rae on her social media.
But on Oct. 11, Jana finally spoke with “Good Morning America” about how bad her relationship with Gambino had been and what the experience did to her.
Jana confessed during the interview that there were several times that she thought her life was over. “This happened a lot,” she said. “He would come home from a night out at the club and literally take me out of my bed and throw me onto the ground. He said he was going to kill me, he choked me… and I was like, ‘This is it.” When we were struggling, when he was choking me, I see my mom, I see my funeral, I literally have that flash of my whole life and I remember screaming my mom’s name and that’s the last thing I remember.”
She also explains that there were times she wished her life would end. Jana wiped away tears and said, “My grandpa has always been my angel and I remember praying to him saying, ‘I don’t even want to be here anymore because I don’t know how to get out of this situation, so if there’s a happier place, let me come to you. Either save me or take me from this place so I don’t have to be here any more because I don’t know how to get out.’”
After Gambino’s release from prison, he did commit suicide, and Jana sounds genuinely remorseful as she admits that she felt some relief that she would no longer be persecuted. However, now she is utilizing that experience to empower other women who are going through domestic abuse.
Jana still hasn’t discussed possible reconciliation with Mike, but does say, “He is doing all the work that he is supposed to be doing right now and I acknowledge that and I see that.”