It was an emotional night for Jana Kramer.
The Dancing With the Stars contestant broke down in tears during tonight’s episode when discussing her inspiration for this week’s theme Most Memorable Year. Kramer opened up about the physical abuse endured in her first marriage to Michael Gambino, and the strength she gets from her 7-month-old daughter Jolie.
“This week, it’s most memorable year, and mine is 2016, because I had my baby girl. I feel like I’m the strongest I’ve been my entire life. She’s given me the strength I didn’t know I would have,” Kramer says in her pre-taped package before the dance.
“And I’ve been in bad situations where I’ve let people take that from me. Ten years ago, I was in an abusive relationship. It was the worst time of my life. He went to jail for attempted murder on me. It’s been a very heavy secret to hold for so many years. The situation ten years ago broke me. It took having Jolie to piece together every single broken part of me.”
With tears in her eyes, the One Tree Hill star concludes, “I never want my daughter to ever go through the things I went through, or question that she’s not good enough. And I want my daughter to know that no man should ever put their hands on her. Because she’s beautiful.”
Kramer then performs with partner Gleb Savchenko to Martina McBride‘s “In My Daughter’s Eyes,” a dance she dedicated to her little one, who was watching her famous mommy from the audience.
Afterwards, Jana got emotional (along with many viewers and judges) and ran over to Jolie for a sweet embrace.
“I was so ashamed,” the 32-year-old told People of the abuse that ultimately landed Gambino in prison for attempted murder in 2005.
“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.”
Gambino was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to six years in prison. He was released in 2010 and committed suicide two years later.