The Inside Scoop on Jana Kramer’s Dramatic Life… So Far

Jana Kramer has accomplished a lot in her career so far. Breaking into the world of acting in the early 2000s, she made a name for herself with roles on TV shows such as Friday Night Lights, 90210, and One Tree Hill.

Jana Kramer and Jerry Ferrara / Jana Kramer and Ian Schinelli / Jana Kramer
Source: HBO / Instagram

She then moved into the world of country music, releasing two albums so far and making her way onto the country music charts with some super songs like “Why Ya Wanna”. She’s even shown off her dancing skills on Dancing with the Stars, making it to the finals in Season 23 before finishing fourth.

Many, Many Relationships

While she has become well-known for her dancing, singing, and acting skills, Kramer has also become famous for her many relationships. She’s been involved with quite a lot of people over the years, tying the knot on more than one occasion.

Jana Kramer poses at the Wonderwall portrait studio.
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Unfortunately, many of Kramer’s relationships haven’t quite worked out the way she hoped, with more than one ending in a very dramatic fashion. Let’s take a look at Kramer’s life so far, with a focus on her love life and relationship history.

Her Early Life

Jana Rae Kramer was born in Rochester Hills, Mich., on Dec. 2, 1983. Her parents are Nora and Martin Kramer, and she has German ancestry, with the ability to speak some German. She has a brother, named Steve, who works as a sergeant at the Sheriff’s Office in Oakland County, Mich.

Jana Kramer as a young girl.
Source: Twitter

She attended Rochester Adams High School and had a relatively quiet and normal upbringing. She also decided quite early in life that she wanted to be a star. So, after graduating high school, she moved to California to try and break into show business.

Early Roles and Her First Romance

It didn’t take too long for Kramer to get spotted and cast in her first movie role. In 2002, she made her debut in the low-budget independent horror film, Dead/Undead. A year later, she made her TV debut on All My Children, and she had a few more low-budget movie roles, too.

Jana Kramer during a US Weekly's Young Hollywood event.
Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic/Getty Images

It was also around that time Kramer met the man who would become her first big love and first husband. That man was Michael Gambino. Kramer met Gambino when she was just 19 years old; Gambino is 17 years her senior.

A Smooth Talker

Kramer and Gambino met at a coffee shop in L.A. She was instantly drawn to his charm, describing him as “intriguing” and a “smooth talker.” Jana admits that, at the time, she liked Gambino’s character and felt protected with him.

Michael Gambino’s mug shot.
Source: YouTube

It didn’t take long for the couple’s relationship to escalate, and they got married on a whim after just two weeks of dating in 2004. It seemed like a whirlwind romance, but things were about to take a very drastic turn for the worse for Kramer.

The Relationship Became Abusive

Kramer was still a young woman at the time with so much ahead of her. She might have hoped that she’d found her dream man and was ready for a life of love and happiness, but her relationship with Gambino suffered a serious downturn after their surprise wedding.

Jana shows off the tattoo she got that says enough.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

In later interviews, Kramer revealed that Gambino became abusive in the days and weeks following the wedding. He had a very short temper, easily got angry and jealous, and took out his frustrations on Kramer in the form of verbal and physical attacks.

Hiding Her Bruises

Kramer later revealed that Gambino 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 [me].” This caused her to spend many nights outside, sleeping in her car or even hiding in the bushes, waiting for Gambino to calm down.

Jana speaks on stage about the abuse she suffered.
Source: YouTube

She kept the abuse a secret for a while, covering the marks and bruises on her face and body with makeup and deciding not to tell family or friends. They had no idea what she was going through, and the situation only got worse as the days went on.

Threatening to Kill Her

Kramer revealed that Gambino would choke her, hit her, throw her on the ground, and threaten to kill her. Then, the next morning, he would act like nothing had happened and go back to normal. Eventually, she tried to get away, but Gambino wouldn’t let her.

A selfie of Jana crying in bed.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

“When I said, ‘I can’t do this anymore,’ he sent me a photo of my dogs on the freeway and said, ‘I’m going to let them go if you don’t come home.’ He’d kick me out of the house, I’d sleep in the car, and then that next morning, I’d be with him in bed again.”

Reaching a Breaking Point

Eventually, the whole thing came to a head on one fateful night: Aug. 6, 2005. On that night, Gambino was in a particularly terrible rage, choking Kramer until she passed out and leaving her bleeding and alone on the ground outside the couple’s L.A. home.

Jana Kramer breaks down during an interview.
Source: GMA

Kramer remembers praying to her deceased grandfather that night, saying, “‘I don’t even want to be here anymore because I don’t know how to get out of the situation, so if there is a happier place, let me come to you.” She said she even felt like she saw a flash of her funeral, imagining her grieving family saying goodbye.

She Managed to Survive

Thankfully, and perhaps with a little help from her late grandfather, Kramer survived that awful night, and her physical ordeal with Gambino was finally over. He was arrested and later convicted of premeditated attempted murder and sentenced to five years in prison.

Jana Kramer holds up a sign that says “I’m not broken I am enough”.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Gambino was paroled in 2010, and Kramer was frightened for a long time that he might track her down. However, he committed suicide in 2012. Jana says that she felt relief that he had gone but was also sad that she couldn’t help him.

Moving on with Life and Her Career

After Gambino was arrested, Kramer was able to move on both personally and professionally. She was still haunted by her experiences and knew that she’d find it hard to trust someone again, but she was finally free to start building her showbiz resume.

Jana Kramer and Jerry Ferrara in an episode of Entourage.
Source: Moviestillsdb.com/Copyright: HBO

Her TV career really took off during that time. She landed a recurring role on Friday Night Lights that helped her get a lot more exposure, and she also obtained roles in 90210 and Entourage, appearing in several episodes of both.

A New Romance Begins

Around this time, Jana felt ready to date seriously again, and in 2008, she met the actor and writer Johnathon Schaech. Schaech was 14 years older than Kramer, and the pair met while working together on the slasher movie, Prom Night.

Johnathon Schaech and Jana Kramer arrive at the premiere of The Perfect Game.
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Headlines appeared in magazines and on social media about Kramer and her new partner, and fans hoped she’d found a much better man this time and was ready for a happier romance. However, it didn’t quite work out the way anyone imagined.

A Budding Relationship

Kramer got married very quickly the first time around, and she didn’t want to make that same mistake twice. She and Schaech decided to take their time with the relationship and get to know each other before moving to the next stage.

Johnathon Schaech and Jana Kramer attend an event.
Photo by Tiffany Rose/WireImagety Images

They started dating in 2008 and, after spending some time together, they felt like their relationship could grow into something more. So, in 2009, they got engaged and started planning their wedding, which was set to be held in Michigan, Kramer’s home state, in 2010.

Jana’s Second Wedding

In 2010, as scheduled, Kramer and Schaech tied the knot. On the outside, it seemed like the couple was happy and destined for a great life together, but on the inside, cracks were already starting to show and Schaech later admitted the wedding never felt real to him.

Jeana and Jonathon on their wedding day.
Source: Facebook

Unfortunately, the marriage lasted barely a week. Just 12 days after the ceremony, they announced that they were filing for divorce. The divorce was finalized a year later, in June 2011.

Bringing Up the Past

It seemed like Kramer and Schaech weren’t meant to be after all, but they remained friends after their separation. That friendship nearly broke down in 2021, however, when Schaech shared some thoughts on their marriage on Twitter.

Jana Kramer and Johnathon Schaech attend the premiere of
Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images

He shared a photo from the wedding, saying that he’d had to explain it to his son. One fan commented on the picture, saying they hoped he had “nice memories of that day,” and Johnathon answered “Nope.” On her “Whine Down” podcast, Kramer revealed that she was “bothered” by his comments and texted him to ask him to stop being mean about her.

One Tree Hill and Musical Success

Even though Kramer’s love life was on the rocks, her career was taking off to even more impressive heights than before. In 2009, she got her biggest TV role as Alex Dupre on One Tree Hill. She was so popular on the show that her character was upgraded from a recurring role to a series regular, and she appeared through to the ninth season.

Jana Kramer and Austin Nichols in a still from One Tree Hill.
Source: Warner Bros.

Kramer also started a musical career around this time, signing a recording contract with Elektra Records in 2011 and launching her first track, “I Won’t Give Up”, which had also appeared on a One Tree Hill episode. She made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart and got to work on a debut album in the days that followed.

A Country Music Couple

Entering the world of country music, Kramer began to meet a lot of people who shared similar lifestyles and interests. One of those people started to become very special to her: None other than chart-topping country music singer and songwriter Brantley Gilbert.

Brantley Gilbert and Jana Kramer during the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards.
Photo by Jerod Harris/ACMA2013/Getty Images

Gilbert and Kramer met at the 2012 CMT Music Awards in June and started to date soon after. At the time, Brantley was regarded as one of the most eligible bachelors in the country music world, and fans were excited to learn more about country’s newest couple.

Engaged Once Again

Everything seemed to be flowing smoothly for Kramer and Gilbert, and country music fans were excited to watch the development of such an exciting couple. So, fans were naturally thrilled when they heard the pair had gotten engaged.

Jana and Brantly pose backstage during the 48th Annual Academy Of Country Music Awards
Photo by Mark Davis/ACMA2013/Getty Images

Kramer and Gilbert got engaged on Jan. 20, 2013, Brantley’s 28th birthday, so it was a double celebration. They then started to plan their wedding and it was sure to be a huge party that the whole country music community could enjoy.

It Didn’t Work Out

Unfortunately, the big country wedding never came to pass. In August 2013, the couple announced they had gone their separate ways. They called off the engagement and moved on, with Gilbert eventually marrying Georgia schoolteacher Amber Cochran.

ana Kramer and Brantley Gilbert attend Tim McGraw's Superstar Summer Night.
hoto by Rick Diamond/ACMA2013/Getty Images

So, what happened? Both sides shared their views on what happened in interviews. Gilbert said he “Thinks the world” of Kramer, but that their relationship just didn’t work. Kramer, meanwhile, said that it was an “unhealthy relationship” and that she was in an “unhealthy place” at the time.

Focusing on Her Career

After her split from Gilbert, Kramer took some time to focus on her music and acting career. She teamed up with Nationwide Insurance for a commercial campaign, opened for Blake Shelton on his Ten Times Crazier Tour, and starred in the independent movie, Approaching Midnight.

Jana Kramer is in the recording studio.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

She continued to look for love and was reportedly dating Scott Eastwood, the son of famed actor and director Clint Eastwood, after the pair met through mutual friends. That relationship didn’t go the distance. Kramer’s next serious relationship, however, lasted for several years and was her most dramatic yet.

Meeting Mike Caussin

Kramer’s next partner was Mike Caussin, an NFL football player who, at the time, was playing tight end for the Washington Redskins. The pair met online, on the social media site Twitter. Kramer later joked that, for her, Twitter had become the new “Match.com”.

Jana Kramer and Mike Caussin attend the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images

Caussin was a few years younger than Kramer, and she was instantly attracted to him. She enjoyed his charming personality, good looks, impressive physique, and confident manner. It didn’t take long for an in-person meeting to be arranged.

A Rocky Beginning

When Kramer first met Caussin in person, she remembers falling for him hard, admitting, “When he walked on my tour bus, I was like, ‘That’s the man I’m going to marry.’” However, even though the passion was there, their relationship got off to a rough start.

Mike Caussin and Jana Kramer speak onstage.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Just a couple of weeks after they began dating, it appeared that Kramer and Caussin had split. Suddenly, she unfollowed him on social media and wrote a mysterious tweet, saying “Never trust anyone.” She followed that up with another tweet, “Here’s to being SINGLE again.”

Early Warning Signs

It turned out that Kramer had ended things with Caussin after she discovered that he had been cheating on her and speaking with other women. However, she later decided to forgive him and give the relationship another shot.

Mike and Jana cuddle together at home.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Looking back, Kramer probably wishes she’d done things differently. Her relationship with Caussin had many more bumps ahead in the road, and it was clear from the start that he tended to be unfaithful.

A ‘Healthy Relationship’

After getting back together, it seemed like things were looking up for Kramer and Caussin. They often appeared in public together and looked very happy. In interviews, too, they only had positive things to say about one another and their partnership.

A selfie of Jana and Mike.
Source: Twitter

When asked about her feelings, Kramer discussed her prior relationship with Brantley Gilbert, calling it “unhealthy”, but added that her current relationship was very “healthy” and that she was in a good place with her great new boyfriend. And things were about to get even more serious.

Engaged Once More

In December 2014, Kramer revealed that she and Caussin were engaged. The NFL player propose on Kramer’s 31st birthday, and she was thrilled, calling it “the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

Mike Caussin and Jana Kramer visit the Buiid Series.
Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Later on, Kramer revealed all the romantic details. She said Caussin had been “the perfect gentleman. Nervous, on one knee, and surrounded by some of the people that love us the most,” he had requested her hand in marriage at the end of a big day of birthday celebrations.

A Beautiful Wedding

Of course, the next thing on Kramer and Caussin’s to-do list was to get married. They spent a few months planning the perfect celebration and prepared to tie the knot in May 2015, eventually celebrating their wedding in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Mike and Jana on their wedding day.
Source: Twitter

It was a small ceremony at a beautiful vineyard, with only the couple’s closest friends and family members invited to share the day. They were very happy at the time and looking forward to spending their lives side by side.

Welcoming Their First Child

Not long after tying the knot, Kramer and Caussin announced they were expecting their first child together. And in January 2016, they welcomed a baby girl, Jolie Rae Caussin, into the world. It was a wonderful moment for the happy couple and their fans.

ana Kramer, Mike Caussin, and their daughter, Jolie Rae Caussin attend the Premiere of the
Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic/Getty Images

At the time, it seemed Caussin and Kramer were in marital bliss. They’d had a tough time early on in their relationship, but everything had seemingly gotten better. They were married, they were happy, and they were building a family together. Unfortunately, bad news was on the horizon.

A Surprise Separation

Not long after welcoming their baby girl, Kramer and Caussin surprised fans and followers by announcing that they had separated. News also broke at the time that Caussin was in a rehab facility, seeking treatment for “undisclosed reasons.”

Mike Caussin and Jana Kramer attend an event.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Fans were gobsmacked by the news, as everything seemed to have been going so well for the couple. The sudden split came as a major shock, and people wanted to know more about what was going on behind the scenes. The details of the story were about to be unveiled.

The Shocking Truth

Not long after the One Tree Hill actress and NFL tight end separated, Us Magazine broke the news explaining why they had split and what had caused Kramer to leave Caussin. It turned out that Caussin had cheated on Kramer with multiple women and was suffering from sex addiction.

Jana is in bed crying.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Not only that, Kramer had officially filed for divorce while Caussin underwent treatment. It was a huge shock for many, but those who remembered Caussin’s earlier indiscretions weren’t so surprised by the revelations. However, the story still has a few more twists and turns.

Calling Off the Divorce

Initially, it was expected that Kramer and Caussin would get divorced, and that would spell the end of another unsuccessful love story for Kramer. However, things didn’t quite turn out that way, and Kramer called off the divorce a couple of days after she filed the paperwork.

A photo of Jana and Mike at home.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Even though the couple was not seeing each other or living together, it seemed they decided to remain married. Fans wondered about what might be happening, with some speculating that the couple remained together for the sake of their daughter, and others expecting another divorce announcement at any moment.

A Gradual Reconciliation

In the summer of 2017, Kramer found herself back in tabloid headlines. The star, who had recently had a successful run on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars, publicly reached out to her husband with a loving Father’s Day note.

Jana rests her head on Mike’s shoulder for a photo.
Source: Twitter

Here’s what she wrote: “We may not have the perfect fairytale love story but what is perfect between us is our little girl. Happy Father’s Day to Jolie’s daddy. There’s one thing we can for sure always agree on… you’re an amazing father and she’s so lucky to have you.”

Getting Back Together

The Father’s Day note suggested there was still some love between Kramer and Caussin. This was confirmed by the singer in an interview later that year, in which she stated that Caussin was still her husband and that they were not officially separated.

A selfie of Mike and Jana on the beach.
Source: Twitter

Kramer also shared some sad news at the end of the year, revealing in December 2017 that she and Mike had suffered a miscarriage. She wrote, “When I first found out I was pregnant, I wanted to shout it from the rooftop, but I know for reasons like this we have to wait.”

Renewing Their Vows

Caussin and Kramer had been through a lot of tough times by that point, but they still found comfort and love in each other. So, after enduring such a tough time, they decided to renew their commitment to one another in the form of a wedding vow renewal.

Mike and Jana pose on the day of their vow renewal.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

“I don’t know what tomorrow can bring or the next day, but I just know that we’re both actively working at it,” explained Kramer, adding that the act of renewing her vows with Caussin helped to strengthen their bond and bring some trust and respect back into their relationship.

Things Were Getting Better

Kramer later shared some more about the whole story with Caussin. She said that she initially decided to stay with him for the sake of their daughter, but over time, she had learned to love and trust him once again. “I’m not sacrificing my happiness,” she said, confirming that Caussin really did make her happy.

Mike and Jana pose with their children.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Then, the happy mom—who was appearing in a lot of Hallmark and Lifetime TV movies around the time—revealed even more great news: The couple was expecting another baby. She posted the announcement on Instagram and sounded thrilled at the thought of growing her family with Caussin.

A Big Relapse

Kramer and Caussin seemed once more to be in a state of bliss when they welcomed their new child into the world, a baby boy called Jace Joseph Caussin. Sadly, things were about to take another turn for the worse for the new parents.

A selfie of Jana and Mike.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

In March 2019, Kramer revealed that Caussin had suffered a massive relapse in his sex addiction. She said that Kramer had not physically cheated on her with anyone else but added that certain boundaries had been broken and she’d uncovered some things that Caussin had been doing behind her back, including receiving texts and topless photos from strange women.

Ups and Downs

Still, even when faced with these new challenges, Kramer tried to bravely soldier on. She wanted to keep her family together for the sake of the children, and she wanted things to work out with Caussin and for the couple to have their “happily ever after.”

A selfie of Mike and Jana at home.
Source: Twitter

In the months and years that followed, they had more ups and downs. Some moments seemed happy and perfect, like birthday celebrations and anniversaries, but others were very difficult, with Kramer admitting that she found it hard to trust Caussin after all his indiscretions.

Divorce Finally Comes

Despite the couple’s best efforts, their marriage was not able to survive. In April 2021, Kramer confirmed that she had filed for divorce. She said she’d “loved hard” and done her best to forgive and move on, but that she had “nothing else to give” Caussin.

Jana Kramer backstage at House Of Blues.
Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

It was revealed that Kramer had been cheated on once again and was unable to forgive Caussin another time. Despite wanting to separate, she still wanted to keep things amicable with Caussin for their children, so the partners came to an agreement on custody and child support.

Another NFL Boyfriend

Not long after her separation from Caussin was made official, Kramer was revealed to be dating again. She was now spotted spending time with another former NFL player: Jay Cutler, the former Chicago Bears quarterback.

Jana Kramer and Jay Cutler pose together at a party.
Source: Twitter

Sources revealed that Cutler and Kramer had entered into a whirlwind romance, although Kramer later stated that Cutler was “never my boyfriend,” explaining that they’d just gone out on a couple of dates but that it hadn’t turned into anything serious for either of them.

Kramer’s Latest Partner

So, you might be wondering whether Kramer is dating anyone nowadays? Well, according to the latest reports, she most certainly is. She’s currently spending her days with a man named Ian Schinelli, and she appears to be very, very happy with her new beau.

Ian Schinelli and Jana Kramer pose together on the beach.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Kramer made her new relationship official over on Instagram in January 2022. There, she shared a series of photos of herself and Schinelli, with the pair looking very happy and engaging in a range of activities together.

Looking Very Happy Together

Fans of Kramer were thrilled when she finally shared those Instagram photos and revealed that she was in a happy and rewarding new relationship. And it’s clear from the photos that Kramer and Schinelli seem very happy indeed.

A mirror selfie of Jana and Ian.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

The photos show the couple in a range of situations, from building a snowman together to embracing on the beach. There’s even a video included in which we see Schinelli making balsamic hearts on a couple of plates after preparing a healthy-looking meal for his new girlfriend.

All About Ian Schinelli

So, what do we know about Schinelli so far? Well, we can see from the photos and videos that have been shared so far that he’s a very handsome and athletic man, and we can discover much more from taking a look at his Instagram account and other online profiles.

A selfie of Jana and Ian on the beach.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Reporters have found so far that Schinelli, like Kramer, is a single parent. He has a daughter and has lived in various cities, including Nashville, Chicago, and San Diego. He’s in his mid-30s and works as a physical trainer, which explains his amazing body.

A Former Navy SEAL

Another interesting fact about Schinelli is that he used to be a Navy SEAL. In one of his Instagram posts, he talks about that time, “11 years ago today I graduated from arguably some of the hardest mental and physical training imaginable. Truly a blood, sweat, and tear chapter in my 20s.”

Jana and Ian make a snowman in the backyard.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Ian continues, “Met some of the best guys I’ll ever know in the Teams and I think about them nearly every day. Some I’m still close with, others we’ve grown distant, but we will always be bonded by the brotherhood.” Clearly, Schinelli’s time in the Navy had a major impact on his life.

And a Loving Father

Schinelli might come across as a super tough guy, but he also has a soft and sensitive side and seems to be a very loving, adoring father to his little girl. In May 2021, he shared a post talking about how great it felt to be a dad.

A selfie of Ian and his daughter.
Source: Twitter

“There is something uniquely special about being a father to a little girl… Like most men, I wanted a boy, I was terrified of not having a boy … but what I absolutely needed was a little girl. She is undoubtedly what has made me the happiest over the last couple of years and certainly the last few months!”

The Pair Met at a Kid’s Party

On a recent episode of her Whine Down podcast, Kramer revealed some secrets about how she and Schinelli had got together, revealing that the pair’s first meeting came at a 2-year-old’s birthday party. She said she instantly noticed Schinelli due to his good looks but assumed that he was probably married.

Jana and Ian are playing with kids’ toys at home.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

However, later at the party, one of Kramer’s friends offered to introduce her. Moments later, she and Schinelli were introduced and sparks began to fly. Later in the podcast, Kramer said that she felt very happy, calling Schinelli an “honest man” and saying that they “have a lot of fun together.”

We Wish Them Well

Kramer has had some real ups and downs over the years. While the professional side of her life has been a clear success, she hasn’t always been so lucky in her personal life, struggling with some tough relationships that have taken their toll on her mental state.

Ian and Jana are relaxing in a hotel pool.
Source: Instagram/@kramergirl

Fortunately, it looks like things are looking up for the former One Tree Hill star, and let’s hope that hunky Schinelli can keep making her smile and giving her the happiness she’s been waiting for, for so long. We wish the new couple all the best and hope that this time, Kramer has found “the one.”