For selfadjoint matrices in an indefinite inner product, possible canonical forms are identified that arise when the matrix is subjected to a selfadjoint generic rank one perturbation. Genericity is understood in the sense of algebraic geometry. Special attention is paid to the perturbation behavior of the sign characteristic. Typically, under such a perturbation, for every given eigenvalue, the largest Jordan block of the eigenvalue is destroyed and (in case the eigenvalue is real) all other Jordan blocks keep their sign characteristic. The new eigenvalues, i.e. those eigenvalues of the perturbed matrix that are not eigenvalues of the original matrix, are typically simple, and in some cases information is provided about their sign characteristic (if the new eigenvalue is real). The main results are proved by using the well known canonical forms of selfadjoint matrices in an indefinite inner product, a version of the Brunovsky canonical form and on general results concerning rank one perturbations obtained. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.