Robert Shapiro paints former colleague F. Lee Bailey as a backstabbing "loose cannon" in his new book and admits that he never bought the defense team's main argument in the O.J. Simpson trial.

In "The Search for Justice," Shapiro said he never believed Simpson "was being victimized by a racist police organization because he was black," according to excerpts published Thursday in the Daily News.But the jury's decision was correct, he said.

"This was a case of solid reasonable doubt," Shapiro said. "Based on the evidence presented to this jury, `not guilty' was the only verdict that could have been returned."

Shapiro reportedly was paid $1.5 million by Warner Books for the 363-page tome. The report did not say when the book was to be released.

Shapiro, who brought Bailey onto the case shortly after the June 1994 slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, accuses Bailey of belittling him by leaking news to media.

"There was no kissing and making up," Shapiro wrote. "Although (Bailey) never admitted a thing and has repeatedly denied the charges of leaking, I never forgave him - and don't to this day."

He wrote that Bailey sounded tipsy during one phone conversation about a month before Simpson's trial to talk strategy.

"He was somewhat rambling and repetitious. It was six hours later where he was; clearly he'd enjoyed a few cocktails," Shapiro said.

Shapiro said he threatened to quit unless Bailey was fired but stayed on after Johnnie Cochran Jr. asked him to, for Simpson's sake.

Shapiro also takes swipes at Cochran for injecting race into the trial and for employing Nation of Islam bodyguards near the trial's end.

As for Cochran, Shapiro said he has not spoken to him since the Oct. 3 verdict.