R.Kelly

AP Photo/Lou Chukman

R. Kelly has spoken up for the first—and probably last—time in his child-pornography trial.

The embattled R&B star announced to the judge today that he would decline to take the stand in his own defense.

"I decided not to testify," he told Cook County Judge Vincent Gaughan outside the presence of the jury.

The 41-year-old performer is not required to testify and had not been expected to. He has pleaded not guilty to charges that he videotaped himself having sex with a minor.

Earlier, Gaughan ignored defense objections and ruled that jurors can review the sex tape once they begin deliberations. The judge says the video is the key piece of evidence in the case.

Kelly's team abruptly rested its case yesterday. Prosecutors plan to call two rebuttal witnesses later today, and closing arguments are on track to begin Thursday.

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